Apple Ships iPadOS 16.1 Beta Ahead of iOS 16 Fall Release

Brian Heater, last week for TechCrunch:

Apple this morning is rolling out iPadOS 16.1 beta to enrolled developer devices. It’s a break from the standard release cadence, which has tied together the tablet operating system with its smartphone counterpart, iOS, since its first release in 2019.

In a comment to TechCrunch, the company notes, “This is an especially big year for iPadOS. As its own platform with features specifically designed for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This Fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update.”

Mark Gurman reported this delay a few weeks ago, but anyone who’s been using the betas this summer could see the writing on the wall: iOS 16 has been very stable in this month’s betas and seemingly ready to go for September; iPadOS 16 and MacOS 13 have not. In both cases, Stage Manager is buggy.

There is a reason to prioritize iOS 16: new iPhone hardware is launching and new iPhone hardware always requires the new version of iOS. There’s no reason to rush iPadOS or MacOS.

[Interpolation: I will further add that the polished state of iOS 16 betas all summer long — from WWDC onward — stands in contrast to the unpolished state of MacOS 13 Ventura’s new System Settings. This could just be my own projection, but I have the sense that if some component of iOS were getting a complete rewrite like this, and it was still as far away from “pixel perfect” as Ventura’s System Settings remains, Apple would not have unveiled it yet. It just feels like Apple has a lower standard for MacOS fit and finish than for iOS.]

Sunday, 28 August 2022